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Hogwarts comes to Notre Dame

Casey Kenny | Friday, April 17, 2009

South Dining Hall was filled with magic and enchantment Thursday evening when the Freshmen Class Council and Notre Dame Food Services hosted Notre Dame’s first Harry Potter Night.

The event was planned as a fun occasion that would appeal to a wide audience, according to Vincent Lau, a freshman and the coordinator of the event.

“The idea for the event arose because so many people noticed the similarities between South Dining Hall and the dining hall in the Harry Potter movies,” Lau said.

Paying tribute to the book and movie series, the east side of South Dining Hall was converted into the Hogwarts Great Hall.

The room featured four long rows of tables with candles – duplicating the effect of the four tables in the series – and a variety of Harry Potter signs were hung from the ceiling.

Upon entering the dining hall, students were sorted into one of the four houses of Hogwarts. However, students could make their own seating choice at these Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Gryffindor-themed tables.

“I knew when I sat down at Slytherin table that I was home,” senior Drew Reynolds said.

The serving area of the dining hall was transformed into the settings from the series, such as the Hogwarts Express and Platform 9 ¾.

The event also featured food from the wizarding world.

There was a potions station, a herbology station and a special center station with Harry Potter-inspired desserts and treats. These included jam doughnuts, chocolate Gateau, pumpkin pie and treacle tarts.

“Once I saw the pumpkin pie, I knew this was going to be good,” senior Adrienne Murphy said.

Soundtracks from the Harry Potter movies were played throughout the dining hall, and many students came to dinner dressed as their favorite characters from the books and movies.

“I borrowed a friend’s bathrobe and some novelty glasses and fit right in at the Gryffindor table,” sophomore Bobby Powers said.

“I think I even saw Father Jenkins dressed as Dumbledore,” sophomore Danny Osburn said.

Many students expressed a desire to see the night turn into an annual event.

“I would love to see this happen again next year,” Osburn said. “It was a great way to make a Thursday night dinner at South Dining Hall fun and interesting.”